Jump to content


Member Since 02 Apr 2010
Offline Last Active May 26 2017 01:32 PM

Topics I've Started

Pkqw: Week 9

23 May 2017 - 11:31 AM

Week 9

  1. In the opening paragraph of Chapter 1, Robin states: Some subjects learned in formal or foundational art training are invaluable to a lifetime of personal artistic growth, regardless of the medium in which we later work. One of the subjects he names is Drawing, the other is _____________________

      1. Sculpture

      2. Mixed Media

      3. Color Theory

      4. Chemistry

  2. For convenience in calculation, materials are put into three columns with the Base (flux, also known as RO or R2O, sometimes referred to as the ____________ of the glaze) on the left, Amphoteric (usually clay, also known as R2O3, sometimes referred to as the muscle) in the center, and the Acid (glass-former, usually silica, also known as RO2, sometimes referred to as the bones of the glaze) on the right.

      1. Nerves

      2. brain

      3. organs

      4. blood

  3. Mocha diffusion, a slip technique that resembles moss agate gemstones is made by using a slip with a high degree of ball clay or plastic kaolin, such as EPK, along with an acidic material known as Mocha _____________.

      1. Tea

      2. Wash

      3. vinegar

      4. coffee

  4. Ceramic Decals have come a long way form their invention in England by John Stadler in ____________. These early decals were printed on tissue paper using etched or engraved copper plates inked with underglaze.

      1. 1850

      2. 1755

      3. 1910

      4. 1820


This weeks questions come from text in Making Marks, Discovering The Ceramic Surface, Robin Hopper, c. 2004, KP Books

Note from Pres: If you do not own this text, or have not read it, it is the definitive text for decorating pottery at any stage from greenware through the firing. Other texts will give you more detailed information in some areas, but known of them that I have seen will give you the names and understanding that will allow you to search for more information as much as this one does.



Qotw: What Movie Best Describes Your Adventures In Clay: And Why?

22 May 2017 - 10:24 AM

Hi folks,

Glazenerd posted a question in the question pool asking: What movie best describes your adventures in clay: and why? 


This one I will have to think about for a while, off the top of my head it is like the Lord of the Rings trilogy, constant chaos, questing after an elusive end, where in the end you seem to end up where you started.


'Mmmmm?  Guess I have to think about this a little more.





Pottery Knowledge Quiz Of The Week (Pkqw): Week 8

16 May 2017 - 01:25 PM

Week 8

New quiz folks, another hodge podge of thought raising questions.


  1. All of the Earthenware clay bodies can be lumped into 3 arbitrary groups:

      1. pure earthenware, talc, and kaolin bodies

      2. fritted, grogged, and kaolin bodies

      3. pure earthenware, fritted, and talc bodies

      4. pure earthenware, kaolin, and fritted bodies

  2. As temperature decreases, flux increases, and ________________ decreases.

      1. Feldspar

      2. kaolin

      3. ball clay

      4. quartz

  3. The thinnest, and lightest of kiln shelves are made of a ____________________composition.

      1. high alumina

      2. cordierite

      3. nitride bonded

      4. silicon carbide

  4. ____________ glazes are used in a lot of studios to avoid throwing small bits of glazes down the drain

      1. Trash

      2. Raw

      3. Commercial

      4. Ash



This weeks questions come from text in Electric Studio: Making and Firing, edited by Bill Jones, c. 2016, The American Ceramic Society

Note from Pres: This is one of the newer books(paperback) in my library. If for nothing else, it has a large area on the use of , repair and firing of electric kilns. This includes sections on kiln furniture, repair and upkeep.




  1. c) pure earthenware, fritted, and talc bodies Pure earthenware clay-as mined it can contain varying amounts of flux and other impurities and it fires to whatever temperature its contaminants (sodium, potassium, iron, etc.) dictate. Fritted bodies think of it as porcelain (25 kaolin, 25 ball clay, 50 non-plastics) but with much of the non-plastics being frit and the frit often containing boron. Two subsets exist; one with lots of nepheline syenite as a flux source, another with whiting (calcium carbonate), which is problematic because its firing range is narrow. There are, of course, an infinite range of mixes of frits, feldspar, and nepheline syenite in this group. Talc bodies-similar to porcelain but they have use talc (magnesium aluminum silicate mineral) as the principal flux. Again, talc, frit, nepheline syenite, and feldspar are mixed in infinite variety to make low-fire clay bodies. The clearest example is 50 talc and 50 ball clay. Talc bodies have very little silicate glass, in fact they have very little silica and consequently they can be terribly weak better for figurines than for functional ware.

  2. (d) Quartz As firing temperature decreases, flux increases and quartz decreases. Natural Earthenware clay, as mined, contains all the sodium, potassium, iron and other fluxes necessary to fire to maturity without added materials.

  3. c) nitride bonded    From an image caption. . . . The relative thickness of three 18x24-inch kiln shelves composed of different materials. The thickest(left), a 1-inch cordierite/high alumina shelf weighing 21 pounds; the next is a thinner but denser 3/4:-inch silicon carbide shelf that weighing 20 pounds; and the thinnest shelf, a 3/16-inch silicon carbide nitride bonded shelf weighing only 9 1/2 pounds!

  4. (a) Trash It’s a fairly common practice in large studios to make what’s called a “trash glaze” using the remaining bits of various shop glazes to avoid throwing glaze materials down the drain.

Qotw: What Do You Listen To While Working In The Studio? Music, Tv, Talk Radio, Silence?

15 May 2017 - 08:47 AM

This weeks question comes from Mea (GEP), she asks: What do you listen to while working in the studio? Music, tv, talk radio, silence? Mea admits that the question has been asked before, but that newbies should have a chance to answer it, as those of us older ones may have another answer.



I use a TV in the studio, it was an old CRT 12" until lately, now a new LED 23". Getting some feedback and fuzziness that I have to check the power and coax feeds. I usually have it tuned in to Westerns or some other thing that I have often seen so that it is just noise, no need to really pay attention. Don't like straight silence in the shop. If I want real silence, I just take out the hearing aides :wacko: .






Pottery Knowledge Quiz Of The Week (Pkqw): Week 7

09 May 2017 - 09:29 AM

Hi folks, again we have another quiz based on a book. I chose some of the questions this week to clarify terms that I have heard potters use interchangeably when they shouldn't be, so be careful.  



Week 7

  1. _______________ is the ability of liquid to penetrate and be distributed through a material. It specifically relates to the working action of a dry clay surface when in contact with water.

      1. Porosity

      2. Shrinkage

      3. Marbling

      4. Absorption

  2. _______________is the quantity of the pores or voids in a clay body.

      1. Porosity

      2. Shrinkage

      3. Marbling

      4. Absorption

  3. _________ _____ is caused by a contamination in the clay, best described as a half moon shaped pit in the pot, with a light or dark nodule in the center. This can occur immediately after firing, or several years later as calcium chloride expands.

      1. Contaminated grog

      2. Lime pop

      3. Alkali salting

      4. Wet blistering

  4. Preventing S-crack formation in pottery in thrown pottery is dependent on __________________ alignment of the clay platelets during the throwing process. Much of this is dependent on the coning , opening up, and compression stages of the throwing.

      1. Linear

      2. asymmetric

      3. concentric

      4. random

This weeks questions were taken from text in The Potters Studio Clay & Glaze Handbook, Jeff Zamek, 2009. Quarry Books

Note from Pres: I could have gathered hundreds of questions from this book, but chose those which I thought would be of interest to the largest audience. I believe that I will return to some books after some time to add more. For those of you interested in glazes, and clay bodies, this is a well constructed and informative text.



  1. Absorbency and Porosity (Answers to both 1 & 2 are included in the text here) 1. (d) Absorption 2. (a) Porosity

  2. Two terms that are frequently used interchangeably but describe different conditions ore absorbency and porosity. Absorbency is the ability of liquid to penetrate and be distributed through a material. It specifically relates to the wicking action of ct dry clay surface when in contact with water. Porosity is the quantity of pores or voids in a clay body.

  3. ( B) Lime pop occurs when moisture in the air comes into contact with a carbonized lime nodule, causing its expansion in an unyielding tired clay body. This can occur when the pottery is removed from the kiln. li can also happen years later, as lithe expands (in the torm at calcium hydroxide). Lime pop is a semi-elliptical 1/8- to 1/2-inch (3- to l3-mm) crack in low-temperature bisque or high-temperature fired ware. A conical hole reveals a black or white nodule (lime) at the bottom.

  4. © concentric  See image below.